Night sweats are a very common symptom of alcohol withdrawal, and they make the path to recovery increasingly uncomfortable and challenging. Most people are unaware of the fact that sweat, as discomforting as it may be, it a crucial function of the body.
Sweating is a natural mechanism that allows the body to shed off toxins and cool down. Sweat glands are an essential part of the body and they work hard, even while we’re sleeping. However, if you’re waking up covered in a pool of sweat, this is a case of severe night sweats that needs to be investigated.
If someone is sweating incessantly, there could be multiple culprits at work, such as fever, certain antidepressants or steroids, low blood sugar levels, or menopause. Excessive alcohol consumption and withdrawals are a common catalyst behind unpleasant sweat, particularly night sweats.
It is an indication that one is suffering from alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and their body is increasingly dependent on alcohol. This typically happens with binge drinkers and people who realize they have a drinking problem and attempt to fix it.
So, why does alcohol withdrawal make you sweat? In this article, we will walk through research-backed facts to answer this question.
Experiencing Alcohol Withdrawals
Those who become addicted to alcohol, or any substance for that matter, experience withdrawal when they attempt to break their dependence. The struggle to leave their addiction exposes them to a series of unpleasant symptoms, including excessive sweating and nausea. These withdrawal symptoms are triggered as a response of the body when alcohol levels begin to fall within the bloodstream.
In order to understand how alcohol withdrawal works, it is crucial to understand how long alcohol lasts in your system. As compared to other substances, alcohol is a depressant and it has a shorter life span after entering the body. With a urine test, alcohol can be detected for up to 4-5 days. Alcoholics typically experience nausea and sweating, amongst other unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, usually during the early stages of quitting the habit.
Sweating typically occurs at night and is excessive enough to wake the body because of the discomfort and humidity. It can also happen during the day, urging the individual to get their first drink of the day. Withdrawal symptoms can be triggered within a few hours of having your last drink, and for some people, they can begin after several days of abstaining from liquor.
Similarly, in some people, the awful symptoms of night sweats and nausea disappear within days. In contrast, others have to suffer for several weeks. It is essential to understand that each body has a different response to alcohol withdrawal and dependency. The course of treatment and approach also weighs heavily upon the withdrawal symptoms.
Some of the common symptoms include:
- Mood disturbances
- Clammy skin
- Excessive sweating
- Unpleasant night sweats
If you are experiencing all or some of these symptoms incessantly, it is crucial to seek out a medical detox center for alcohol addiction in order for medical professionals to monitor your vitals throughout your withdrawal period.
Why Does Alcohol Withdrawal Make You Sweat?
In order to answer this question, we must understand the impact of alcohol consumption on our body and brain. Alcohol stimulates the circulatory system, the central nervous system (CNS), and other organs. Drinking can bring about an increase in the heart rate, which causes the blood vessels in the skin to broaden, causing the body to sweat more than it naturally does.
When the heart rhythm becomes excessively fast and irregular, the blood vessels within the skin start to widen. Medically, this process is known as vasodilation, and the widened blood vessels make the skin flush, triggering excessive perspiration.
Most people tend to feel warm and flushed after consuming alcohol; however, their body temperature drops significantly as the blood shifts from the core to the skin because of the widened blood vessels. The perspiration allows heat to escape from the body. In cold weather, people who consume alcohol excessively are at risk of suffering from hypothermia. In hot temperatures, people start experiencing dizziness, dehydration, and nausea, alongside excessive sweating.
Heavy and regular drinkers are more likely to experience discomforting night sweats or excessive sweating that lasts for hours throughout the day. People who have an alcohol use disorder (AUD) typically suffer from excessive sweating.
Most of the people suffering from AUD experience night sweats. These are a temporary symptom that occurs in conjunction with other short-term symptoms, such as nausea, loss of appetite, depression, anxiety, and more.
Research reveals that only 10% of the alcohol that
we consume exits the body through
our breath, sweat, and urine.
People often wonder, is it possible to sweat alcohol out of their systems? It is possible, but not entirely. You see, the liver metabolizes most of the alcohol that we consume, and the remaining amount is broken down within the stomach lining. Research reveals that only 10% of the alcohol that we consume exits the body through our breath, sweat, and urine.
The remaining alcohol is broken down into various byproducts through the natural metabolism process of the body. So, no, experiencing night sweats or making oneself sweat at the gym will not help them quicken the process of ridding a body of alcohol. However, maintaining a workout regime and sweating out toxins will make the alcohol abstinence easier by expelling the horrid symptoms of depression, anxiety, and irritability.
What Should You Do if You’re Struggling With Alcohol-Induced Sweating?
If a person is experiencing increasingly discomforting symptoms regularly for several days or over a week, it is crucial to seek out medical attention. Most people who start an alcohol abstinence regime or detox after heavy drinking have to deal with increasingly troublesome withdrawal symptoms. It is crucial to understand that this is not a fight one can win alone.
Excessive perspiration is not normal, and it can drain the body of salt, nutrients, and cause excessive dehydration. More importantly, it disrupts sleep quality and creates sleep disturbances, which can damage the body beyond repair.
Sweating throughout the day and night can also cause the body to become increasingly dehydrated and devoid of essential nutrients and minerals. Hence, a person must supplement their body with nutrients and overcome the dehydration caused by excessive perspiration.
A medical professional and addiction specialist can help a person overcome these symptoms with medical attention, and an inpatient rehab for alcohol will also strengthen their emotional resolve to beat the addiction. A simple search for an inpatient alcohol rehab center near me can show people the options they have. However, it is always better to opt for a well-reviewed rehab center compared to the one closest to you.
Luckily, today countless programs facilitate people combatting alcohol and substance use addictions with holistic and medical treatments and therapy sessions. There are various long-term alcohol treatment programs for women in Texas, which aid with recovery and rehabilitation. It is crucial to start medical treatment and gain strength from support groups and AA communities.
Withdrawal symptoms are always unpleasant and discomforting, and in some severe cases, they can prove life-threatening. The emotional and physical discomfort of eliminating an alcohol dependency is so challenging that they discourage alcoholics from undertaking the struggle of escaping their addiction. However, it is crucial to remind oneself that the advantages of escaping alcohol addiction significantly outweigh the discomfort of excessive sweating and other temporary symptoms.
It is crucial to focus one’s mind on the prize and seek out a medical detox center for alcohol addiction to help you overcome these challenges. Gaining professional help from an alcohol detox center in Dallas-Fort Worth is the best way forward. Professionals can alleviate withdrawal symptoms safely and provide treatment to improve your comfort throughout the withdrawal phase.
Are You Struggling With Alcohol Abuse or Alcoholism?
If you’re struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction and need professional help, we encourage you to give us a call at (817) 993-9733 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Founded as a long-term, gender-separate, and faith-based solution to alcohol abuse, our team at Stonegate Center is here to help!
Our 125+ acre ranch located just outside of Fort Worth, Texas, serves as a tranquil campus for you to get back on your feet. While enrolled in either our 45-day, 60-day, or 90-day program for substance abuse, you’ll have access to top-notch clinical, medical, and spiritual care. Here, you’ll get to partake in individual counseling, group therapy, and other fun activities like our ropes course, equine therapy, and our annual crawfish boil.
We look forward to having you join our recovery community and celebrating your new life in sobriety!
John Eckelbarger is a Business Development Representative for Stonegate Center. With a BSA in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, he has an interest in the neurobiology of addiction as well as the pharmacology of drugs. He hopes to bolster Stonegate Center’s status at the forefront of addiction medicine through bold, innovative content creation. He is currently pursuing his MBA in Finance from Texas Christian University.